Top Channel journalist Leonita Bajrami was attacked in Mitrovica on 27th of December with pyrotechnic explosives while on a direct broadcast for the Top Channel morning program “Albania Live”.
As soon as she noticed the presence of explosives, she ran away, but the live feed from the location continued after the attack. This attack happened while journalist Bajrami was reporting live from the Bosnian neighborhood in Mitrovica, on the new barricade that was set up there earlier that morning. Footage from the attack can be seen here.
This is the sixth attack against journalists in Mitrovica during December 2022 as the tension escalates:
The car in which journalist and producer of Kallxo.com were traveling was attacked near the Technical School in Mitrovica; The team of RTV Dukagjin was attacked with explosives during live reporting in the northern part of Kosovo; The Klan Kosova’s team was attacked while they were reporting near the barricades located in the village of Çaber in Zubin Potok when the attackers threw stones at the team and insulted them; TeVe1 television team was under explosive attack in the Bosnian neighborhood in the Municipality of Mitrovica. The team consisting of journalist and cameraman was present when the explosion occurred; Masked persons attacked the Kosovo Klan team in Zubin Potok in the village of Zupç. The journalist and the driver received medical treatment after the windows of the car broken by stones hit them in the face.
The ongoing attacks pose a serious threat to the safety of journalists and prevent reporting on developments in the north of Kosovo. In the past month, the Association of Journalists of Kosovo has called for KFOR and EULEX to play an additional role to guarantee physical safety of journalists, who continue to be the target of attacks organized by groups of masked people.
SafeJournalists Network, representing more than 8,200 media professionals in the Western Balkans, condemns these cases, and calls upon competent bodies to ensure safety of journalists, especially in delicate times. Moreover, we call on responsible institutions to shed light on all cases of attacks on journalists that have been taking place in Kosovo, because each case that goes unpunished leads to more crimes towards journalists.
SafeJournalists network will inform all relevant national and international stakeholders about the latest cases.
Each attack on journalists is an attack on public interest, democracy and rights of all citizens.
Belgrade – Podgorica – Pristina – Sarajevo – Skopje – Zagreb, 29.12.2022
Association of Journalists of Kosovo
Association of Journalists of Macedonia
BH Journalists Association
Croatian Journalists’ Association
Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia
Trade Union of Media of Montenegro